All of us are exposed on a daily basis to the apparent scarcity of traditional job opportunities in the current economic environment. It is a particularly wrenching exercise for the individuals who have not yet faced up to the necessity of making the transition to alternate methods of income, until pressed to do so by external forces. To the contrary, there are many others who have at least made mental preparations for these conditions by pursuing alternate activities, regardless of the certainty of outcome that many others prefer to see before taking on such pursuits.
Many in that second category, sometimes referred to as entrepreneurs, find frustration in attempting to bridge their enthusiasm in their new or optimistic endeavors with the mindsets of others, including members of their immediate circle. For example, your team partner, the engineer, who has worked alongside you on many projects does not understand your desire to create an unrelated business in your off-hours. Or, your trusted family member sees your extra-career pursuits as flights of fancy or as wasteful distractions.
Is it you or is it them? Is there some distinctive yes or no as to who stands on the right or the wrong side?
There is really no reason to pursue the disconnect between you, the entrepreneur, the visionary, the dreamer, and those others who simply have no view outside of their own perspective or into yours or mine. It’s simply a matter of choice, rather than of right or wrong. One true ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ would be in not recognizing when the presence of complacency stands as your partner in the midst of a currently unfavorable environment. Such a situation would be in organizational or career stagnation. You should then recognize the need to step through the gap from your past and move into your future. Pursuing a new direction when the opportunity presents itself, far ahead of the actual need, is a definite case of ‘right’.
From a strictly psychological point of view, each of us, in general, falls into one of two categories when it comes to the concept of motivation; either by (1) finding motivation based upon a fear of loss, or, (2) finding motivation based upon an opportunity for gain. In the first example, one might start a new venture only after being motivated by a threat of a career-ending company merger. While, alternately, in the second example, a new venture is initiated due mainly to the feeling of the excess obligations involved in carrying the title of Vice-President, a large office and a medium six-figure salary. It has also been proven that once we begin with the choice between these two bases of motivation, many of our subsequent decisions are also made from the habit, or the preference, of one type of motivation over the other.
It should then, therefore, come as no surprise that the probability of success in a new venture has a direct bearing on whether or not one is using opportunity or fear as their motivator. And in a manner similar to a hiring preference, an entrepreneurial partner is more likely to prefer a new partnership with one who seeks opportunity than one who fears loss. Simply put, the one who seeks a reasonable opportunity is looking forward, while the one who fears loss is looking backward.